My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Friday, January 29, 2016

Binding, Borders and Blues

Nigel (he's the furry one in the photo above) wasn't going to let me sew today, but he relented... so I did :-)
First of all I finished up this wee wallhanging... I'm extra pleased to get this finished; it is my OMG project I pledged to finish this month. Already I am loving this One Monthly Goal linkup which Heidi of Red Letter Quilts is gave me the push I needed to finish this wallhanging.
As you can see I put a yellow peeper around the stitchery (the only part I had completed at the start of the month). After the quilting I bound it with a two coloured binding which gave the effect of another yellow peeper. The photo below shows that one strip of the binding is cut wider than the other; the binding is attached from the back and then machine sewn down on the front. 

Karen of karensquiltscrowscardinals did a very detailed tutorial on this method last year - I pinned it at the time and actually remembered to go back to it! (How often do you do a google search and discover something you've already saved? That's what I usually do - but not this time!)
This was a quick and easy way to bind... I am a little fussy with  lines of stitching showing where I don't want them and the back of this isn't entirely pretty but the front looks ok!
Thank you to Heidi for helping us set goals and meet them - here is the linkup for the OMG It's Finished Party!
(Don't forget you can click on the photos to enlarge them).

Nigel was still allowing me to sew after finishing that so I worked on some 9-patches I've been making as my leader and ender project this week....
..they're also my attempt to trim my scrapstash a little... this month's colour over at the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is blue. (Actually I discovered a little late that it's actually blue with a touch of purple..oops)
Big ones
Small ones
What a difference half an inch makes!!
The strips are cut at 1" and 1 ½" so finished block sizes are 1½" and 3" 
The 9-patches will form some projects I'm still mulling over but I'm happy just to be sewing up some scraps at this stage :-)
I've linked up to the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again - see more inspiring scrappy projects *here*.

Last post I was finishing up my Calendar Bears stitcheries. I've done them all now and even sashed and sewed the blocks together. Next up for this is borders and quilting...woot woot the end is in sight!

A little more detail.
This has been a happy project, I've just loved exploring their little personalities as I've stitched away!

While we've had some welcome rain lately, we've also been having some long hot summer days and the garden is starting to get that high summer look of faded flowers. However the Norfolk Island Hibiscus tree below is still flowering like crazy and is quite a bee factory... there's been quite a hummmmmm happening in it this month.
You can just see the sprinkle of pink....
A mass of flowers...
And many happy bees, humming away with their legs laden with pollen. 

You may have noticed that I'm in the process of changing my blog around a little. I've dropped the name lovetostitch and renamed it stitchingfarmgirl, from my blog address. My header is a work in progress :-)

I'm hoping for a weekend of sewing, probably under the fan, hope you're keeping cool - or warm - where ever you may be,
                                                      'till next time, happy creating,

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sewing away....

It's a muggy, blustery and showery day - perfect for a bit of sewing and now some computer time for a blogpost :-)
Last year I really enjoyed the Rainbow Scrap Challenge with Anglea at soscrappy - the scrappy stars quilt (top) was a fun and rewarding sew ..... but you know how it is, the moment your back is turned, the scraps multiply. In spite of all my best efforts my scrap buckets are still overflowing so I've decided to sew along with Angela and the Rainbow Scrap Challenge again this year.
Each month she chooses a colour for us to make scrap blocks with...we can choose to sew up the sampler quilt she has designed, or do our own thing. I'm doing my own thing this time round. In some quiet moments in the last week I've rummaged around and played with my Blues.
One more cat block to add to the two I made last year.
An ongoing scrap project which uses very small pieces :-)
Pattern available on the ohfrannson blog.
And I have started a new scrap project. These stars are from the book 'S is for Scraps' by Gayle Bong. I wanted a project I could set up at the start of the year and not have to re-think every month. The quilt is called Box Boy Stars but I'm thinking of a name change; at the moment Honey Bucket Stars is calling - explanation *here*.
Cute 7 1/2"  blocks which use strips, I seem to have plenty of them.
I'm not big on using specialty rulers, I've had the Easy Angle for a while but never really sorted out how to use it. I now have it sussed for this what a difference a simple ruler makes! 
Easy cutting of the trapezoid for the star block.
And it worked great for the triangle too. 
The January block for this year's soscrappy quilt is the Twinkler Star.... while I'm not making the quilt, I was intrigued by the star. So now I have this year's first orphan block!!
It's quite a cool block, imagine swapping the colours out to create different effects.
To get to the tutorial for this, click *here*.
Colours aren't too good sorry, that's actually a red in the centre with blue spikes!
This block used another ruler, the tri-recs ruler, one I don't have, but I figured out that the spikes were cut at 60' so I made the block using my standard ruler... I can see though that that would be another ruler that would be useful to have! (Oh dear, I think I'm becoming converted!)
And while I was at it, a few more bonus Half Square Triangles to add to my pile.
I must find a project for these!
Other sewing recently, I put some borders onto this month's OMG project; simple quilting coming up :-)
In the evenings I've been making my way through the last of the Calendar Bears project and have finished up to the end of November —
— and December is nearly done ♥
Isn't the November bear a character - love those sunnies!
It does seem like I am doing lots of random -bits and pieces- sewing but I know that any day I'll be up to my elbows in fabric, sewing for The Country Yard (where I work part-time) as we prepare for our New Year's Launch next month. In the meantime I potter.
See you next time - happy sewing!
PS Great excitement - I registered for Paducah classes/lectures the other day - woohoo, roll on April! 

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January sewing and sun

The lazy days of summer continue for us...with family staying, still on their summer holiday, and more due to arrive for the weekend tonight...we've been having a lovely time lately :-)
On the crafting front I managed some serious sewing last week and finally got my Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt top together
The Indigo row was my stumbling block last time I wrote about this project.. I finished up using an assortment of grey/black/deep purple, which gave the right effect.
 Now I need to decide if I'm bordering it or not... and if so WHAT WITH!!
This photo shows it on our (king sized) bed - it's a decent sized quilt!
Emma took the opportunity to bomb my photo for me!
I've linked up to soscrappy ScrapHappy Saturday - click *here* to see what others are up to with their scraps - thanks Angela!
While Mum was staying I asked her to help get me started on my treadle machine...her parents didn't get power until she left home (the mid-1950s!) so all her early days of sewing were with a treadle. We had previously oiled her and replaced the leather belt but I hadn't threaded her up and attempted actual stitches.
Test drive, Mum showing me how.

My first Pedal Powered block!
Lovely face plate isn't it?
But faded decals.
My research tells me that my machine is 1910-1911 'Red-Eye'... as you can see time hasn't been kind to her and her decals are hard to see... however I like to think about what a good life she's had and the stitches she must have sewn over her time... and I get a thrill treadling away on a machine that is twice my age!
I've decided to call her Nellie, after Nana (Mum's Mum) as she truely was my crafting inspiration. And born in 1916, close enough to my machine's age!

I've started off the new year with no resolutions or amazing insights, just a determination that this year will be one where I play, explore, create and finish in My Palace. When this stitchery fell off my design wall the other day, I decided that it will be my ufo finish for the month.
Red Letter quilts is starting up a monthly linky to help motivate us with our goals so I'm going to link up there...
Red Letter Quilts

...hopefully with just a few borders needed this piece will be finished in no time!
..and that being the case, why has it sat awaiting attention for so long :-)

The MOML and I had an opportunity to take a couple of days off recently, with ED and our future son-in-law offering to milk and look after the farm for us. Woohoo!! I get to go away from time to time but poor old hubby doesn't very often.
We headed up north to the Bay of Islands for a bit of chillaxing. Had a lovely time.
The view from the balcony where we stayed.
Day trip over to Russel, which is the island looking place you see in the top photo.
While we were away, the kids (and friends) did some 4 wheel driving up the tracks in the hills/bush at the back of our farm. These photos appeared on facebook last night.
Looking down on our farm.
Sure looks like summertime!
Trail blazing!
Oh and to follow up on my last post, I did an informal family survey and Nana made at least 19 pigs! Not a bad effort!
Must be off, Happy New Year to you all.
Hope you have a happy and creative day,